Love Corner: Love is honourable
"Live with your wives in an understanding way ... and show
her honour as a fellow heir of
the grace of life."
- 1 Peter 3:7 (NIV)
To honour someone means to give them respect and high esteem, to treat them as being special and of great worth. When you speak to them, you keep your language clean and polite. Take them seriously when they speak to you, giving their words weight and significance. When they ask you to do something, you accommodate them if at all possible, simply out of respect for who they are.
Love Corner reminds you this week that the Bible tells us to honour our father and mother, as well as those in authority. It is a call to acknowledge the position or value of someone else.
This is especially true in marriage. Honouring your partner means giving him or her your full attention, not talking to them from behind a newspaper or with one eye on the television. When decisions are being made that affect both of you or your family, you give your partner's voice and opinion equal influence in your mind. You honour what they have to say. Let them know they matter in the way you treat them.
Another word that calls us to a higher place is a word that is not often equated with marriage, though its relevance cannot be understated. It's a word that actually forms the basis for honour - the very reason we give respect and high regard to our husband or wife. That word is holy.
To say to your partner should be 'holy' to you doesn't mean that he or she is perfect. Holiness means they are set apart for a higher purpose - no longer common or everyday, but special and unique. A person who has become holy to you has a place no one can rival in your heart. He or she is sacred to you, a person to be honoured, praised, and defended.
After a bride wears her wedding dress on her special day, she covers and protects it, then sets it apart from everything else in her closet. You won't catch her in it when she's working in the yard or going out on the town. Her wedding dress has value all on its own. In this way, it is holy and sacred to her.
When two people get married, each spouse becomes holy to the other by way of holy matrimony. This means no other person in the whole world is supposed to enjoy this level of commitment and endearment from you. Your relationship is like no other. You share physical intimacy with only him or her. You establish a home, and bear children with this person. Your heart, possessions, and life are to be wrapped up in the uncommon bond you share with this one individual.
Is that the way it is in your marriage? Would your partner say you honour and respect them? Do you consider them set apart and highly valued? Holy?
Perhaps you don't feel this way, and maybe for good reason. Perhaps you wish some outsider could see the level of disrespect you get from your wife or husband - someone who would make your mate feel embarrassed to be exposed for who they really are behind closed doors.
But that's not the issue with love. It honours even when it's rejected. Love treats its beloved as special and sacred even when an ungrateful attitude is all you get in return.
Choose a way to show honour and respect to your spouse that is above your normal routine. It may be holding the door for her. It might be putting his clothes away for him. It may be the way you listen and speak in your communication. Show your partner that he or she is highly esteemed in your eyes.